Sometimes, movie studios in Hollywood remember that the rest of the world exists — and that they even make those moving pictures things that keep them rolling in the dough year-round. Strange as it seems, them studio boys even occasionally realize that they are fully capable of releasing them there foreign flicks to their American audiences as a way of making even more money. Recently, Fox Home Entertainment launched their first assembling of International films for what they have dubbed their “Fox World Cinema” line. These titles include the Bollywood wonder Dum Maaro Dum, the Chinese martial arts epic The Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman, and a little crime drama ditty from Italy, Angel of Evil.
Now, as logic would dictate I talk about these movies in the order I introduced them, I figure I’ll start out with the Italian flick first.
· Angel of Evil (originally released as Vallanzasca - Gli Angeli del Male, 2010)
Of the three titles put out to inaugurate the Fox World Cinema lineup, Angel of Evil is the only one that draws its inspiration from the life and legacy of the extremely dangerous but incredibly charming Milanese bank robber, Renato Vallanzasca. Portrayed here by Kim Rossi Stuart, Renato starts out his career in the ‘70s by holding up the tellers of Milan before moving onto other locations in the forthcoming years. While it might sound like just another average crime drama (though one that actually hails from the pages of Vallanzasca’s biography for a change), Angel of Evil emerges as being a taut piece of cinema, one that really satisfies. It’s also the best by far of this Fox World Cinema trio. Michele Placido directs his feature with precision, with Filippo Timi, Moritz Bleibtreu, Francesco Scianna, and the very beautiful Paz Vega turning in admirable supporting roles. The only major disappointment here is that the DVD’s only supplemental material is limited to a behind-the-scenes featurette.
· The Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman (originally released as Dao Jiàn Xiào, 2010)